Archive for July, 2009

Economy, Up or Down?

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the economy should have at least started to recover. Even had the government done nothing, and the Elite’s friends had crashed and burned, the economy should have shown signs of life. Yet it stubbornly refuses to get better. Despite the almost three trillion dollars spent on TARP and stimulus.

I have even noticed a sea change in the way the unbiased media couches economic news. For eight years the unbiased media steadfastly denounced every indicator as a bad one. The unemployment rate hits four percent and it will be out of control inflation. Productivity gains were a sign the economy may slacken. Increase in overtime payments were a sign the workforce was overtaxed. Every indicator was taken as bad news.

Now they have switched gears and call every economic indicator a good one. The unemployment rate hits nine point five percent and the loss of jobs was only five hundred thousand. Both taken as signs the economic drop may be slowing. Every indicator is taken as good news yet despite the propaganda the economy continues to slow and fall into the abyss. Commercial real estate will be next edge. When sticky prices run up against fluid demand.

Even were the economy to hit a bottom it would have another edge. The governments of the world have collectively spent too much of the people’s money on pork. Had the governments of the world lowered the marginal tax rate for the people of the world the money would have been used productively.

When tax cuts were being debated economists were arguing that people would “just” save the money or pay down debt. That people wouldn’t spend the money so the government should do the spending. Keynesian in nature demand generates supply. But the problem with John Menard Keynes theory is that if the demand is government generated, government must keep demanding, else the economy goes into recession. The economic incentives become skewed to meet the new demand.

To put it another way. Demand shapes supply. In that, if there is a demand for A, then suppliers of A will shape their outputs to meet the needs and demands of the customer. The longer the customer is the same the better the suppliers of A will meet their needs and demands. But, government cannot keep demanding a quarter of national GDP every year, on top of the other obligations past Elite have thought fit to saddle the government with. Government debt will go nuclear and irradiate the currency. So government generated demand must end… Eventually.

So when government demand inevitably goes down the economy must go into a recession. To retool to meet the demands of it’s new customers. Customers that have been denuded of their money by government’s avarice. The inevitable recession will be long, due to the lack of largess in the hands of the people.

It’s also a valid fear that the people will learn to do with less. Become too thrifty. People who fear the future save for it. People who relish the future spend like a drunk. The best path, of course, is the mean. To save for the future but not so much as to deny today. But if government create’s such a long recession that people become used to saving, and not ever spending, it is hard to start the people spending again. Inertia and all that…

By the time this economic downturn has played out we will have far less money to invest in anything. Government regulation will stifle new companies, as will onerous taxation, to pay the interest on the debt. So startup money will be scarce. Delaying or forestalling new businesses startups. Elongating the recession into the recovery.

The longer the government (roof) holds up the economy (foundation) the worse the consequences… I predict the government will double down on it’s bet.

Does Evil Suffocate Itself?

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Does Evil Suffocate Itself?

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that Nazi Germany didn’t loose the war at the battle of Stalingrad or by not taking Moscow in 1941. They lost the war because their philosophy was evil.

When Army Group North invaded the former Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian Republics, (that had been recently usurped by Stalin), the people greeted the German troops as liberators. The subsequent horrors visited on them by the Schutzstaffel changed their opinion. Even with the excesses of the SS many Prussians so detested the Communists they joined the Nazis.

Had the Nazis not been so evil they would not have turned the people of the invaded republics against them. Germany could have freed the republics, returned the governments to the people, and enlisted their help in eradicating Communism. Instead Nazi Germany decided to murder all the Roma, Jews, and anyone else who appeared to be a potential threat. (Rivers of blood tend to alter public opinion).

Later when Romania signed a separate peace with the USSR Germany became jealous of her allies and fostered a coup in Hungary. The new government in Hungary was absolutely loyal to the Nazis. (Which would later bring ruin on Hungary).

The previous government had been protecting the Jews and other subject peoples from the Nazis. As a result there was a huge number of Jews and others that were to be exterminated. So while Army Group Center collapsed from lack of supplies. The trains needed were instead sent to Hungary to ferry Jews to the gas chambers.

The Nazis decided it was more important to get Jews to the Death Camps than to supply German soldiers with ammo… Our actions expose who we are.

The Nazis were evil. That is why they lost the war. It is in retrospect that we can see this fact. Does this mean that all evil will be defeated? Who knows. But I would say that evil has within itself, always, the seeds of it’s own destruction.

Sonya Sotomyor

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that I heard that a Republican Senator, I don’t remember who, asked Ms. Sotomyor if an American citizen has the right of self defense. To which she vacillated. Ms. Sotomyor didn’t answer the question. That leads me to conclude that she doesn’t believe that you or I have a right to defend ourselves if a person comes in our homes with the intent and means to kill us. The villain’s right to murder us and our children supersede our right to self defense!

How is this possible?! Who could possibly believe such a thing?! It is unthinkable that a fool such as this would have a job at McDonalds, (there is food prepared there), let alone be up for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States! I am horrified beyond belief! The only correct answer would have been said in a derisive sneer, “Pretty God Dammed naturally I believe in a human being’s absolute right of self defense… Senator!”

The right of self defense is absolute! There is no greater right than the right to defend yourself and your family in the face of violence. The absolute right of self defense is given us by God. The right stems from natural law. If a bee is attacked by a bird the bee has the right to defend itself. That is why God gave bees stingers. The bee doesn’t call the hive and wait while it is being eaten to have the queen send a detachment of bees to investigate. The bee like the deer, like the cat and dog have the absolute right of self defense.

How can we acknowledge this right to animals but deny it to human beings? As a means to weaken us… By us I mean people who are not members of the Elite. If we have not even the right to defend our homes what right do we have? The right to free speech? What buffoon thinks we will have free speech when we cannot even legally defend ourselves from murderers in our own homes? If our speech offends the Elite we can be simply killed like in Russia. We have no right to defend ourselves. If we do we go to jail if we don‘t we die. The people are put in a no win situation. By the government, (not the first time).

Not allowing a person to legally defend himself when he is being attacked is tantamount to allowing people attack others. The philosophy increases the incentive to rob, murder and rape. If people are not legally allowed to defend themselves then someone who has no quibbles about committing a crime has less to fear. Someone who is on the fence about breaking into someone’s house and robbing it, may not commit the crime, if the homeowner has the right to defend himself. The danger of the homeowner along with the unlikely threat of law would be an incentive not to do the crime. Not doing the initial crime could prevent a possible life of crime. But give the same person the same choice without the threat of an armed homeowner and the person commits the crime… With all the negative consequences to society.

So according to Ms. Sotomyor if a terrorist breaks into my home, I must let him kill me and my family, and use my home as a base for more terrorist operations… To do otherwise would be a violation of law. This is the logical conclusion of the philosophy that human beings do not have the fundamental right to defend themselves… But of course we do.

It is only the Elite that say we do not. They, rest assured, will have security guards to protect them. They will have every right… especially the ones they want to take from us. The Elite fly to Paris to have lunch then scold us for driving to work. They send their children to private schools and decry us if we want the same for our children. The Elite will not deny themselves or their children anything… but we are too many to have such liberties. The “world “ is in peril from our numbers… Or is it us that imperil the world?

Who would fault the dog that defends it’s master when it’s master is being attacked? Sonya Sotomyor and the rest of the Elite, that’s who.

Real Stimulus

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that if the governments of the world want real economic growth, extending far beyond the end of the government’s expenditure of capital, they should be negotiating in a joint enterprise to build interplanetary space ships that are reusable and capable of ferrying human beings safely to, not only Mars and Venus, but to the Asteroid belt and the entire inner solar system as well.

The development of such a system would necessarily build a huge scientific and engineering infrastructure. Initially funded by government as an economic stimulus, it would be taken over by private firms. The way this could happen is that, as the enterprise gains more and more revenue streams, the international community would establish a limited holding company in charge of the firm, then announce a number of shares certain in the venture. Then the shares could be sold on the world markets to individual investors divesting government‘s of their share and freeing up government funds for tax cuts…

The revenue sources would be many. One would be charging nations or firms for rides to and from places of economic and scientific interest in the inner solar system. The asteroid belt offers access to stable mining platforms and a vast smorgasbord of mineral resources. Near Earth asteroids are another periodic resource of an amazing array of economically valuable minerals. Especially rare Earth elements. They are rare on Earth but plentiful in asteroids. A ready supply of which could lead to better transmission technology for electrical transmission with possible breakthroughs in superconducting at high temperatures, are one of many possible technologies that would be enabled by access to such a resource. Where is there a better place to collect solar energy than Mercury? Build the stations just on the night side. Build the solar arrays with local resources and raise them into the sunlight. The energy could be then stored somehow… maybe in some future quantum battery technology that many pop up… Or use the energy to process some ore locally for export to Earth. All these economic opportunities would be possible given access to transportation to and from. Advertising would be another source of revenue for the firm. Sell the outside of each ship like a billboard. The ad space would command a pretty high value for it’s visibility.

Manufacturing other equipment in orbit would be another revenue source for the firm. Once the infrastructure to build in low Earth orbit is developed it would be redundant to duplicate. If some nation or firm wanted something fabricated in Low Earth orbit they could contract with the firm. From competing space ships to mining platforms the ability to build in orbit would be extremely valuable to the human race.

The engineering challenges alone are worth the investment. Random research has some merit but focused research yields many more profound and useful insights. The example of Apollo and the technological breakthroughs that followed the halcyon years of the space age make the point. Investment in space has always yielded an improvement in the lives of people on Earth. A concerted push by many nations would yield far more technologies and insights than we can foresee with our limited perspective. And the technologies would be spread across many nations. Giving each some industrial advantage and diversifying world economic output.

Another positive externality would be the refocusing of the Earth’s inhabitants on something external and grand. Today we are focused internally on petty squabbles and historical wrongs… Fighting like children. Stand back and take a look. To anyone with perspective we are a bunch of spoiled brats in the modern world. We have it better then any other people in the history of mankind. What do we do with this prosperity? We cry about other people’s obesity, we try to hug those that want to stab us in the belly, we decry our ancestors (like they were any different that any other ancestors), we tremble at the thought of a virus and imagined ogres, and we squander our prosperity on poorly devised schemes to make money from nothing. Refocusing would do us some good. Not only us but the rest of the world could use a change in heart. A grand enterprise, that would pay dividends for ever, would be a pretty good means to this end…

When Is Your Good?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that…

If we take Aristotle’s precept that we all seek the good. And that all of our actions work to some perceived good or “happiness“. Then one facet of the question of a morally virtuous act can be understood like this.

It is in the seeking of “personal good” do we find an answer. It depends on where in time we set our point of “Good”. Beyond our set point we don’t take into consideration the consequences. It’s not that we don’t care about the consequences but that we don’t factor them into our decision to do this or that thing that will bring us a “good”.

If a person only seeks good that will suit him or her immediately with no eye to the outcome or future we can say that the set point for that persons actions is the next few minutes. Were this permanent it would be a set point that leads to total hedonism. The good that this person aims at is immediate gratification.

If we take another person who has set his or her aim point for “good” a few months or years ahead they will be somewhat trustworthy. This type of person would be more likely to store up for the future and control the near term actions to protect the long term goals. This would be Aristotle’s mean. The point between too close a set point and too long a set point.

Take a person who sets his or her aim point at the end or his or her life. This person will be deeply religious. Aiming at death is always sobering… but not energizing. A person who looks to death is not as productive as he or she would otherwise be. They are storing up for the afterlife… not old age. They may gain by going to heaven but society looses in their lost productivity. Heaven, wanting what is good for mankind, however wants us to be productive and social. So to dwell on death is to put up for the afterlife, but it is in a way, thwarting the will of God. Who wants us all to be fecund and prosperous.

We all set our points at different times in our lives and even sometimes change the point several times in a day. The example of foolish acts that we have all done can be explained this way. We act impetuously when we set our point of “good” in the near term. We act correctly when we take the longer view (the mean). But we are paralyzed by taking too long a view.

This is another way to look at moral virtue. As a tool…it may be handy. At least it is something to think about.

Republican Brand

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that the Republican brand is tarnished for a number of reasons.

The first is corruption. Republicans and Democrats are as corrupt as a three day old dead skunk. Both parties have enjoyed power for far too long. The Republicans however have not only had their own corruption scandals to contend with but those of the Democrats as well. The Democrats, whenever they are caught in some scandal, always point to Republicans in general and claim that the do it too. And that both parties should be censored for it.

A legislator from Louisiana was caught with bribe money in his freezer. Both Democrats and Republicans condemned the FBI for resorting to such tactics as setting up a sting operation on a fellow congressman. The congressman was a Democrat. But Republicans stood up for him… The man was caught on film, taking marked bills, dutifully casting the vote and was later caught with the marked bills in his freezer. I wonder, if a citizen who was caught similarly but with marijuana, if Republicans would come to his rescue? Or are they more afraid of getting stung themselves? This is shows what measure of corruption there is in both parties… At least on the Congressional level.

The next is that Republicans are just as much a tax and spend party as the Democrats. The only difference is the rhetoric. The Republicans claim, even when they are in office, that they are fiscally conservative. When in reality they just choose to spend on different factions. The Democrats run on tax cutting, but as soon as they get in office, they eschew tax cuts as being for the rich. At least Democrats say what they believe in, taxing and spending, even if it is after they are in office. Republicans say one thing then do another… No one likes the hypocrite, and it smacks of corruption.

Another is that Republicans were largely responsible for invading Iraq. Regardless of the long term outcome the American people see that as adventurism. The results of no terrorist attacks on American soil during the Bush administration will be illuminated, when the Obama administration’s, foolish and Pollyannaish international policies come to fruition. Then the American people’s attitude about Republican foreign policy will subside. Until then the American people will give Obama, reluctantly, the benefit of the doubt.

The amazing thing is that the American people are in sync with the Republican party as regards social issues. Americans stand on Gay marriage, Abortion and the like are more and more conservative. As the fruits of the Progressives ripen, the American people, (who always apply William James philosophy of pragmatism), will turn against them. The backlash will be similar to the one that led to the Victorian era.

But the Democrats have successfully destroyed the Republican brand even as they are more corrupt, out of sync with the American people on social issues and wrong on almost every economic point. The Democrats showing themselves to be head and shoulders above the Republicans at politics.

The Republican party is swirling in the drain. The country club Elite in the Republican party, (the original Progressives until FDR stole the mantle), seem to think the answer is to be more “progressive”… That’s just what America and the World needs, nothing but progressives, with no real alternatives.

Who needs liberty anyway? We can have free health care…

Is Journalism at risk?

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Dear Friends,

I listened to the Kalb Report on PBS today. He had four notable media people. The Presidents of, NPR, Associated Press, CNN, and the Knight Ritter Foundation.

I was amazed that the first thing they all said was the biggest problem in journalism is revenue, (money). They agree (except for the president of the Knight Ritter Foundation), that they need more money. I wonder why they are so greedy? Why the out of control greed?

The president of CNN claimed that CNN has had double digit growth in revenue in the last five years. I was under the impression that viewer ship had moved to FOX News leaving CNN a distant second. Pretty good CEOing to have double digit growth in earnings when actual viewer ship is dwindling. But even with double digit revenue growth over the last five years he complained that he wants more money? Isn’t that the definition of greed?

I noticed that the luminaries avoided any mention of bias in the media. There must not be any problem with bias. If there is the leaders of the news industry don’t see it. The only one who tangentially mentioned bias was the president of the Associated Press. He said that now things are being covered and questions asked that were not before… The rest of the panelists took it that he was talking about race.

The president of NPR was caught unawares. She cracked a joke and had the question re-asked. She was asked if news consumers can discern the wheat from the chaff. She gave us some credit and said we can and do. She went on to say that there is no bad content… except that which misrepresents itself.

I maintain that the term unbiased reporter is an oxymoron. No one is unbiased. Could a minority, steeped in the doctrine that white people are demons, be sympathetic reporting about a white supremacist that’s child was abducted? What about the other way around? Moreover should they have compassion at all? We all have baggage in one form or another. Not to the level that I have used as a example but we are all guilty. So in my opinion to represent yourself as unbiased when you really are not, (especially when you know in your heart you are not), is being very dishonest. One might even use the term… misrepresents.

I thought the guy from the Knight Ritter Foundation made a good point when he said consumers of media are becoming users of media. In that we expect something we can use to make money, buttress a point, inject in conversation etc… That we are interactive in our consumption of media and journalism.

I would have liked to see more whys being answered. Like why is readership dwindling in major newspapers, why is the American public so skeptical of the major news outlets, why is ad revenue dropping (in real terms), and not so much blatant advertising for their brands.

The long and short is that whenever you get the presidents of buggy whip manufacturers in a room they agree the problem is with everyone else… not their product.

Afghan Elections

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that it is absolutely imperative that the elections that are slated to be held in Afghanistan in August go through. The Taliban will be fighting tooth and nail to put the kibosh to any hope for an election. They understand that the elections are critical in the war for the people of Afghanistan.

By stopping or postponing the election the Taliban can propagandize the fact. Regardless that the Taliban would be largely responsible, the putting off of elections, would de-legitimize the standing government. Eventually the Taliban propaganda will be that the government is a puppet of the US. Not having elections plays directly into the hands of that propaganda. Empowering those that want to tyrannize the people of Afghanistan.

The elections have already been postponed. Once is a terrible precedent. But to do it twice would be evidence of total incompetence or malfeasance on the standing government’s part. The government doesn’t have the excuse that it doesn’t have time or had sufficient warning. There is no lack of international help, (except in troops). The only lack it seems to me would be lack of will…

The track record of the standing government in Afghanistan is pretty poor with regards to corruption. Officials require bribes as a means of doing business. Anyone who has read our blogs, forums, and Manifesto are aware of the International Capitalist Party’s stance on Bribes and their corrosive effects on the economy and society as a whole.

Without backing Bashardost, the International Capitalist Party does agree with his stated stance, that corruption must be banished from Afghanistan. If this tantamount feat can be achieved Afghanistan will once again join the community of nations as an equal. The Meads will be the international power they once were…

Imperialist Powers

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that when a European calls the US an “imperialist” and “Colonialist” power it is the height of hypocrisy. The US, Canada, and all the countries of the Americas were colonies of European powers. The US has never had a colony. The US has never conquered territory (other than the continental US) and not given it back to the inhabitants. The Philippines are one example of many the most recent is Iraq…

The US has no empire to give it the name imperialist power. Without empire or the desire for such the term imperialist is not applicable. It is applicable for Great Briton, Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Persia, Italy, Macedonia, Prussia, etc… they were imperialist powers. They had empires. The US did and does not.

To claim the US has an economic empire is as sophomoric as it is moronic. The European powers answer to themselves only, (to their detriment). Japan is independent and is an economic power unto itself, There is no American hegemony in economics. Capitalism is available for any country to use to improve the lot of it’s citizens. That they don’t, is not the fault of the US, it is the fault of the Elite in those countries.

But everyone knows this. When the Communists, Progressives and Socialists call Capitalist nations “imperialist” what they mean is that they CPS’s want imperial power. They always decry that which they themselves want.

That is how the CPS operates. They condemn that which they crave. Notice how they disparage the ousting of a communist from power in Honduras but call for the ouster of a rightist executive in Columbia. They know the unbiased media will not bring attention to their hypocrisy. When a rightist government was in control of the USA (George Bush and a republican legislature) the unbiased media called the amassing of power in the hands of one party extremely dangerous for democracy. Remember the Rightists had only the slimmest of majorities in the House and Senate. That was dangerous in the hands of the party that at least in doctrine if not in practice wants less government and less government intrusion into the lives of it’s citizens. Today the Leftist have total supremacy in the House and Senate. With an executive that is a cult of personality himself. That is no threat to democracy? What about liberty?

Why is it then when someone such as I, call for a more lasses faire attitude towards markets, the CPSs call us “poor deluded Pollyannaish people… to be so innocent as to think markets would be fair… for it is the nature of men to be greedy…” So men are only greedy when they are Capitalists? Government officials are not greedy? Greedy for money (avarice), greedy for power (ambition) and greedy for fame (hubris). Government officials the world over have proven themselves to be far less trustworthy than any robber baron.

So let the CPS in Europe and elsewhere call Capitalists imperialists and Colonialists. They are showing the world what it is they want. Colonies and Empire… again.